The Bully?

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

We brought Bundy, our cocker spaniel, into the family about 3 months ago now in the hope that he might bring back a bit of zing into Zac, our old German Shepherd Dog. It has worked fantastically well and certainly Zac now wants to look at everything that Bundy does, read all the post cards left on trees, chase balls again and manages to walk long distances as he wants to keep up with Bundy.  (it helps that it is also winter here and he is having acupuncture)

Zac we believe really enjoys having the company however over the last couple of weeks a disturbing change has taken place. Bundy is telling Zac that he is to live outside and Zac is complying. Bundy growls and barks as he rushes at Zac anytime he goes to come in. Zac just looks at him and turns round and goes to his outside bed. He could easily put a stop to this by just one bark or growl, a footstep taken towards Bundy would see the little dog turn and run but no……Zac just does what he is told.

I think that he loves the little fellow and is happy to make him happy to his own detriment. I wonder if this is what a lot of men do to keep their wives happy. All the wives that I know (including myself) have many more tasks and social activities that they want to do and like Bundy growl and bark at their man to join in the activity. Much of the time their man just turns round and does the expected action because they love their wife and they don’t want to battle. Watching Bundy I think I’m going to practice growling less.

Anyway we were really worried that Bundy was turning into a bully until in the park yesterday morning, as Zac lay chomping on his ball, and Bundy with ball in mouth running from one smell to the next a bull terrier (a pig dog) came running up to Bundy. There was no mal-intent on the dog’s part but he frightened Bundy who relinquished his ball to the dog. Zac was on his feet in seconds chasing the dog who now has the ball. On catching him (not bad for an 11 year old dog) he made him drop it and removed him far enough away from it so that Bundy could reclaim what was rightfully his. Zac then returned to his own ball. This happened four times before the dog’s owner put him on a leash and moved him on.

It showed me that Zac can stand up for himself (and for his family) if he wants to, that he is happy for Bundy to be a pain (but probably not a bully) and that he loves the little guy.

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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23 Responses to The Bully?

  1. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story Irene 😀
    I feel sure, that Zac is enjoying your new family member.

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  2. TanGental says:

    Canine co-dependency. Love it!

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  3. fictionfitz says:

    Great story Irene. Even if not a dog lover.

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  4. Pat says:

    Love the pictures, Irene, and great story. It’s amazing the things our loving pets do and how they interact. They seem to have a communication all their own having it all under control. 🙂

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    • Yes I think that is very true Pat. We walk in the dog park where dogs are allowed off leash and we have never seen a dog fight but lots of play and you can see the different way the breeds communicate with body language. There are a lot of German Shepherds with Zac being the oldest and they communicate and play quite differently to all the other breeds. When they are all together it is a joy to watch. 🙂

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      • Pat says:

        Same here, Irene, in taking our dog to dog parks. It’s also nice, too, that we’ve found most people have the courtesy to ask if our dog is friendly before setting their dog lose.

        Only one time was there a couple of dogs showing a little too much aggression and ganging up on our dog. The owner was kind enough to pack up and leave.

        Mostly, like you said, the dogs have a way of communicating and getting along. I love it.

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      • I do too and I love the friendships that develop between the human walkers in the park. It’s as though the dogs break through some kind of taboo about talking to strangers.

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      • Pat says:

        I know, Irene. I love it. Pets have a way of helping us learn to connect and break down the barriers. It’s nice how they can get right to the heart of it and express that love. Have a great weekend, my friend. 🙂

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      • Have a great weekend also Pat. 🙂

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  5. Good for Zac! There is obviously a pecking order with the dogs now, but as long as Zac’s not effected negatively by this, and is happy with his companion, which it seems he is, I say good. We brought in a dog, Rock, to keep our old Sampson happy, and he was like a puppy again. He had been very lonely. So companionship is very important for an aging dog. You’ve done good!

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  6. Ah, dog dynamics. They’re adjusting to the pack and pecking order.

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  7. Sherri says:

    What a delightful story this is Irene, and so lovely to see pics of Zac and Bundy together. What beautiful dogs they both are. I’m always amazed at the pecking order that goes on in families when new pets are introduced. Maisy (cat!) was was 4 when we got Eddie 8 years ago and she accepted him from the start, like a mother to a kitten but it is Eddie who usurps her by eating her food etc. if we don’t watch him (he is ruled by his stomach!). Still, they do love each other and curl up so sweetly together. Just like with your two, Zac is happy to let Bundy do what he wants it seems, understanding that he is young and has lessons to learn maybe, but still has his special place in the family and obviously very protective when he needs to be. What a happy, lovely family, a joy to read this. Have a wonderful weekend my friend ❤

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